November 18, 2004 by Allen George
Fifth Business by Robertson Davies.
On hearing the phrase Fifth Business, the first image I recall is that of a tattered cover. Dominated by the abstract image of a man’s face split into disparate sections, my cover of Fifth Business made an impression. It intrigued me. Even now I can still remember my satisfaction on realizing the appropriateness of that cover image. Call it a shared – though obvious – inside joke.
My first superficial exposure to Jungian theory came through Fifth Business. Although the psychodynamic school of thought is widely discredited by current psychological practioners, I still have a soft spot for it. There’s something very appealing and…dynamic…about imagining yourself as a conglomeration of opposing forces – their interplay and unique traits each defining a piece of the total you.
At any rate, I’ve written about this before – but one of the reasons I’ve always liked Fifth Business is that I identify with Dunstan Ramsey. And that feeling’s not weakened in the past little while…